Season 2 episode "Cardassians"

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Romulan_spy, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. Jetboogieman

    Jetboogieman Commander Red Shirt

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    It's simply one of the things that makes DS9 the greatest Trek (in my bold opinion).

    That nuance is so, so very important because it is real.

    There is a fantastic book, called "Ordinary Men" by Christopher Browning and I highly recommend is and it is about a Reserve Police Unit who ended up participating in the Holocaust who in some cases were given a choice not to, you have to read the book to understand but at the end of the day, one of the greatest myths about the Holocaust was that it was carried out by extraordinarily evil men.

    It was carried out by many people as normal as you and me who by various means, came to be involved, facilitate and participate and that actually makes it more scary and more menacing.

    Now don't get me wrong, some of them came to believe what they were doing was right, some not and the Nazi's had plenty of Gul Darheels but for DS9 to show that it's not as simple as "all Cardassians are blood thirsty monsters who enslaved, raped and killed Bajorans at every opportunity because they are inherently evil" is saying something because it would have been an easy decision to make from a writing perspective.

    It's simply what makes DS9 special, life is never quite that simple
     
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  2. Roundabout

    Roundabout Commander Red Shirt

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    You are probably right about that. I don't think Rugal's wishes were much of a factor in Sisko's decision.

    Sisko's inquiry was basically to determine how Rugal came into custody of his adaptive Bajoran father and whether it happened legitimately. It turned out that it ultimately wasn't legitimate.

    Rugal's adoptive Bajoran father did appear to take in Rugal, in good faith. However, unbeknownst to him, Rugal wound up in the Bajoran orphanage, in the first place, because of shenanigans by Dukat. Dukat had Rugal stolen from his biological family and left in the orphanage in order to embarrass his political rival, Pa'Dar, Rugal's biological father.

    Also, it did appear that Pa'Dar did not abandon Rugal. It seemed that Pa'Dar genuinely thought that Rugal perished in the attack on their home on Bajor. And Pa'Dar did appear to be a genuine loving family man, for whatever that's worth.

    Sisko made the right decision, imho. I had mixed feelings about how the episode ended. After watching this episode, my head said Sisko made the right call, but my heart wished that Rugal would have stayed with the Bajoran father that he has already bonded with. It was tragic that Rugal had to go through this situation.

    I also thought that it was implied that Sisko, as a father himself, made his decision with the understanding of what it would mean to have a son stolen from him and that if it had ever happened to Jake, Sisko would want Jake back.

    Garak came across as something of a perv when he uninvitedly put his hand on Rugal and mentioned how handsome Rugal was. Of course, that doesn't necessarily justify what Rugal did. Maybe Garak shouldn't have acted so creepily.
     
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  3. Roundabout

    Roundabout Commander Red Shirt

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    It is indeed quite a contrast.

    Shame on Picard. Sisko got it right, not so with Picard, imo.

    Both Rugal and Jono were stolen from their respective biological families. But there were significant differences between Jono's situation and Rugal's.

    The Talarians killed Jono's parents during their attack, and then they kidnapped Jono. Just because Jono eventually bonded with his kidnapper and became part of his kidnapper's family, that shouldn't legitimize his kidnapping.

    It bothered me that Picard allowed the Talarian to steal someone else's child with impunity. Also, by allowing the Talarian to get away with killing humans and then kidnapping their children, that sets up a terrible precedent.

    Jono's biological grandmother, who happened to be a Starfleet admiral, was anticipating Jono's return. I assumed she must have been pissed when she learned of what Picard did.

    Too bad there was no follow-up to this story. I would love to have seen Jono's grandmother, the admiral, make Picard pay dearly for his decision.
     
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  4. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's one of the only command decisions I really was not with Picard on.

    I can't wait to watch this with my wife and see her take on it. (We just finished "Menage a Troi", so we'll likely get to it later in the week. By the end of the weekend, almost certainly.)
     
  5. Ferengi Prime 5

    Ferengi Prime 5 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Let think about this this, Jono was willing to kill and be killed(Suicided), those are not heathy ways to get attention or solve a problems for a human. In truth, Picard should have sent the boy back to Starfleet... He should have told the Talarian's to fight it out in the Federations legal system...

    I assume she use all diplomatic avenues and the Talarian Legal system to see him...
     
  6. Tribble Threat

    Tribble Threat Commander Red Shirt

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    This was an impossible decision. No matter what Sisko did, parents would be unhappy, and the boy would have missed out an an opportunity.
     
  7. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't agree.

    For one simple reason: Jono wouldn't have wanted it.

    It's obvious from the episode that Jono, having been raised by a Talarian father, would have been miserable anywhere else. It's the only family - the only life - that he's ever known. What right does Picard have to take that away from him?

    Indeed, have we forgotten WHY Jono was trying to get himself killed? The pain of being forcibly removed from his Talarian family was too much for him. That's why he wanted to die - so he would be spared from that pain. He was trying to take the easy way out.

    True, Jono is technically a human, stolen from human parents, but that's water under the bridge, as it were. For Jono, it's ancient history. Heck, I doubt he remembers much of anything of his life as a human. And since it's Talarian custom to raise a child in this manner (taken from a wartime enemy), surely it would be a violation of the Prime Directive to forcibly return Jono to the Federation.

    Now obviously Admiral Rossa would want to see her grandson, and there's no indication (that we know of) that she'd be kept from doing so. But in every way that matters, Jono is a Talarian, raised by a loving Talarian father, according to accepted Talarian custom, and it's his wishes - and that of the Talarian government - that must be respected above all else. Why shouldn't he be entitled to make his own choices?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2021
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  8. Ferengi Prime 5

    Ferengi Prime 5 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Because, he is a federation citizen first and for most. He is human and he needs to understand his history and people. Once he is 18 he can most likely return to the Talarian father if he choses...
     
  9. Tribble Threat

    Tribble Threat Commander Red Shirt

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    I'd say that while the Talarian episode was good, the Cardassian one was better and had food for thought.
     
  10. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It was a good episode but I thought the focus on the machinations too much overtook all the other considerations and issues/factors, in fact it felt like it was trying to claim/present/argue that Dukat being involved in a scheme as a scheme did outright override and/or invalidate the other considerations.
     
  11. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's a fair point. The question of Rugal's fate is complicated enough without adding in Dukat's manipulations, but at the same time, adding Dukat's manipulations gives us a bit more worldbuilding. It really is surprising that Commander Sisko was allowed to adjudicate this pretty much single-handedly.
     
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  12. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Lwaxana's being kind of speciesist, there. That description probably applies to some members of every species.

    On the other hand, the right of parents to raise their children and to determine what "the best interests" of the child even means, is a pretty fundamental right in all societies. Rugal was abducted from Pa'Dar -- Pa'Dar did not abandon him or otherwise relinquish his right to raise his son. I have a hard time saying that his right to raise his son doesn't override anyone else's rights.

    On the third hand, yeah, Rugal has a right to not be subjected to psychological trauma and family separation.

    Honestly I think the best possible scenario would have been a shared-custody arrangement. But then that would have required either Pa'Dar to move to Bajor or Rugal's adopted parents to move to Cardassia, or for both to move to a third planet. None of which were likely to happen.